Conference Topic

Full name of the conference:

Turn Over a New Leaf. Innovations, Pseudo-Innovations and Corporate Social Responsibility for the Future.

The concept of innovation plays a pivotal role in management - it means an ideal and a right direction of change in the economy. The term 'innovation' and its derivatives (like 'to innovate', 'innovative') have therefore a positive connotation and suggest that anything marked with them is valuable, useful, worth implementation, investment and its money, etc. That is why these terms are fancy and are used in promotion, for example, in advertising. When they are overused, their sense begins to be shaky, they become ambiguous, and because of their ambiguity - useless for management theory and practice. To specify the meaning of these terms some authors introduce a distinction between innovations in a strict sense and pseudo-innovations, which are similar to innovations but not essentially the same phenomena. Innovations are new and useful. Pseudo-innovations have only the appearance of innovation, they create a false impression of novelty because they replicate already known solutions or are new but bring more losses than benefits.

Assuming that innovations, apart from being new, are also useful (they bring more benefits than losses), the following question should be answered: What is useful, utility, the usefulness of innovations? What are the benefits and losses taken into account in the utility assessment? The questions can be further specified by referring to aspects of change assessment. For instance: What should be taken into account when estimating the usefulness of changes: the benefits and losses of individuals, the social group, the organization, or we should consider the benefits of all the players involved? Can a homogeneous quantitative measure determine profits and losses, or should they be estimated according to various (quantitative and qualitative) criteria? How should predictions of opportunities and risks be taken into account when estimating the expected utility of innovations?

Knowledge about the future is uncertain, and people are not responsible for the unpredictable consequences of their actions. However, people are not ignorant about the probability of upcoming events. It means that we can be responsible for the predictable consequences of our actions, and the creators of innovation, their investors and organizations involved in their implementation are responsible for the future created by the innovations.

This conference is to be a place for exchanging viewpoints on different ways of understanding the phenomenon of innovations and how they change the perspective of perceiving the social responsibility of investors and organizations for the future. We encourage participants to exchange their views in three thematic blocks with regard to the challenges of the pandemic we are facing:

1. Ambiguities of the concept of innovation: How do theorists and practitioners define innovations? How do their definitions differ?

2. Criteria and methods for identifying innovations at the stage of decision making about their financing and implementation: How does the (directly or implicitly) assumed definition of innovations determines criteria to asses projects of changes?

3. Responsibility for innovation. How does the hierarchy of values motivate the creators to work on innovations? How does this hierarchy affect investors’ and organizations’ decisions to invest in and implement innovations or to abandon their projects?

Suggested topics for speeches (in English or Polish):

1. How is innovation different from pseudo-innovation? Criteria: novelty, effectiveness, usefulness.

2. Reinventing the same: cases of pseudo-novelty.

3. Harmful innovations: How novelties can make the situation worse. Case studies.

4. Innovations and pseudo-innovations in the times of pandemic – case studies.

5. Pseudo-innovations in business management - case studies.

6. Innovation barriers, which pose the risks of introducing pseudo-innovations: The ways finance, institutional and legal systems, low level of innovative awareness and weak cooperation between the R&D entities hamper the development of innovations.

7. The short term profit. Is it the reason for introducing innovations or the motive to create pseudo-innovation?

8. Is ethics more important than profit? The roles of social utilitarians and the concept of corporate social responsibility in creating innovation-related activities.

9. Artificial intelligence: ethics and algorithmic trading.

10. Discussion on current problems of theory and practice development in terms of innovation and CSR practices used in business (e.g. building innovation on the example of PGNiG).

11. "Brand new" as a slogan of pseudo-innovation through the example of a selected industry (e.g. pharmaceutical industry).

12. Polish innovation support system vs the systems in other countries.

13. Epidemiological threat as a background for creating innovative solutions.

There is no conference fee.

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